Players of the Pakistan national team and the administrators of the game in the country are hoping to put on a good show against Cambodia in the first round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers despite uncertainties in the domestic scene.
Talking to Pakistan Press International (PPI), Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah said that the national team will be determined to put a forceful show in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers against the Southeast Asian opponents next month.
“We have called 32 players, who have played for Pakistan before. Our selectors are also short-listing another 20 players. The players aged between 18 to 23 years, who performed well in the recently concluded National Intercity Championship, will also join the camp,” Ashfaq said.
The Pakistan team are undergoing a preparatory camp at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad ahead of the first leg to be held on June 6 at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium followed by a second leg, scheduled to be held in Lahore on June 11.
However, with FIFA still recognising former PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat as the national body’s head, there are fears that the politics could hamper their participation in the first round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers.
“We have been trying our best with determination for the betterment of football. Everyone knows where Pakistan football stands. If we can put the game on the right track, then everyone will support us. That is what we are looking to do,” Ashfaq said.
Jadid Khan, Pakistan footballer, expressed his hope that FIFA would take the right decision in favour of Pakistan football and would let them participate in the competition.
“Preventing us from featuring in the World Cup Qualifiers would not be in the best interest of football and FIFA is out there to support and promote football,” he was quoted as saying by the PPI.
(Photo courtesy: FootballPakistan.Com)